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Old 11-14-2013, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
67,650 posts, read 60,875,858 times
Reputation: 101078

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Just finished "Memoirs of a Geisha" and then watched the movie. No surprise - the book was MUCH better than the movie!

Now at the advice of my cousin, I'm reading "A Confederacy of Dunces" and it's very good. It's interesting that Hollywood keeps trying to make a movie out of this book, but the men they keep picking for the main character all seem to die before they can start the process. So...now the book has "bad mojo" on it and Hollywood thinks it's cursed.

A Confederacy of Dunces - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It's interesting because this book was written by a guy who committed suicide at age 31. His mother found the original manuscript in his stuff, and tried for YEARS to get it published. She finally managed to get someone's attention, and the book was published and ended up winning the Pulitzer prize for fiction!

In spite of all the sadness surrounding the book, it's actually a comedy and very funny. There is a statue of the book's main character in New Orleans. Anyone who loves New Orleans or quirky main characters would love this very unique book, I believe.
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:04 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 18,155,603 times
Reputation: 10355
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Just finished "Memoirs of a Geisha" and then watched the movie. No surprise - the book was MUCH better than the movie!

Now at the advice of my cousin, I'm reading "A Confederacy of Dunces" and it's very good. It's interesting that Hollywood keeps trying to make a movie out of this book, but the men they keep picking for the main character all seem to die before they can start the process. So...now the book has "bad mojo" on it and Hollywood thinks it's cursed.

A Confederacy of Dunces - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It's interesting because this book was written by a guy who committed suicide at age 31. His mother found the original manuscript in his stuff, and tried for YEARS to get it published. She finally managed to get someone's attention, and the book was published and ended up winning the Pulitzer prize for fiction!

In spite of all the sadness surrounding the book, it's actually a comedy and very funny. There is a statue of the book's main character in New Orleans. Anyone who loves New Orleans or quirky main characters would love this very unique book, I believe.
I LOVED A Confederacy of Dunces! Read it back in the '90s, may be time for a reread. So sad that such a talented and funny writer ended his own life.
Memoirs of a Geisha, also very good. Astonishing that it was written by a white man; his "voice" as the main character was so authentic.

I heard Diane Rhem's interview with John Grisham the other day and on my way home stopped at the supermarket and picked up Sycamore Row on impulse. Jake Brigance from A Time to Kill is back. So far the book grabbed me from the first page.
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
5,299 posts, read 8,253,049 times
Reputation: 3809
Quote:
Originally Posted by LookinForMayberry View Post
Just finished listening to the audiobook "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich," by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. As I listened to the life of just one day in the Russian prison camp, life around me took on a whole new glow. As I read about him slowly sucking the crumbs of the 200 mg ration of dry bread for breakfast, before going out to work in sub-zero weather all day, warmed only by a watery oatmeal gruel at lunch, suddenly my full refrigerator and pantry took on a rainbow of delights.

That said, I don't think I will need to read anything that incredibly sad for a long, long -- very long time.

" Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?
"
William Wordsworth
Lines Written in Early Spring
LFM - I started to read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich a few years ago and didn't finish it was depressing. We had the same thoughts, appreciating how lucky we are, when watching the typhoon news last night.
I just started The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. A month or so ago I watched a four-part series A Young Doctor's Notebook starring Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe on Ovation channel. My library didn't have this book so I ordered the former. I've only three chapter, but so far it's wonderful.

Last edited by tigerlily; 11-14-2013 at 04:01 PM.. Reason: misspelled author's name
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
5,299 posts, read 8,253,049 times
Reputation: 3809
Quote:
Originally Posted by LookinForMayberry View Post
I started listening to "Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War," by Tony Horwitz yesterday and Tony is becoming a favored author for me. I also listened to his "A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World" some time back and liked it. He has a flair for fleshing out the facts of a historic event with the public sentiments of the time, and private observations from personal diaries that have been preserved in archives. He must be a fascinating person to talk to, if he ever has the time to talk away from his research and travels.

As for the story, it has a personal connection for me because my mother often sang the ballad of John Brown while I was growing up, and we had the fortunate opportunity to visit Harper's Ferry while traveling. I think this bit of history is important for all American citizens, of all colors and religions. Perhaps we need a (non-violent) John Brown today.
I loved this book and also the John Brown's Body song. Confederate in the Attic is on my list.
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
5,299 posts, read 8,253,049 times
Reputation: 3809
Quote:
Originally Posted by theatergypsy View Post
I'm about a quarter of the way into Pale Horse Coming by Stephen Hunter but it's so intense that I needed to take a break. So I started reading Stoner by John Williams, which is the polar opposite.
I got Stoner last weekend and finished it in two readings. Great Book.
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,330 posts, read 33,018,915 times
Reputation: 28903
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerlily View Post
I got Stoner last weekend and finished it in two readings. Great Book.
I loved it too!
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
5,299 posts, read 8,253,049 times
Reputation: 3809
Here's some books I've finished and liked.
Nine Inches, a book of short stories, by Tom Perotta.
The Professor and the Mad Men by Simon Winchester
Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
Big Brother by Lionel Shriver

The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud. When I read the sample provided for this book, I thought I would really like the story. The excerpt led me to believe that the woman upstairs was "every woman" but thankfully she was not. It isn't necessary for me to empathize or even like a character to appreciate the book. But, the character must have a few smarts and Nora didn't. I finished the book, because reviews mentioned it had a surprise ending. The ending was predictable.

Someone by Alice McDermott. I'm still waiting for one of McDermott's books to match Charming Billy.

I read about one third of The Perfect Family by Lionel Shriver it did not meet my expectations after finishing the two Shriver books mentioned above.

So Far I really like these three books:
The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I have Goldfinch on hold.
The Master & Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

On Deck:
Theodore Roosevelt and the Assassin by Gerard Helferich
Brilliant Blunders from Darwin to Einstein by Mario Livio
The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northrup ($.99 kindle deal)
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:15 PM
 
218 posts, read 544,254 times
Reputation: 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
Have any of you read Unsaid by Neil something cant remember his last name right now but that is one of my top 5 books and I was so enthralled by this book I mean any book that can make me cry is a winner in my mind . I mean I went through some tissues on that book . OMG to the max so if you have never read please do so you will not regret it .
After seeing you recommend this, looked it up, ran out to the library after seeing there wasn't a kindle copy available. Have hard copy in hand and am about to start. : ) It looks good....can't wait to read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlow View Post

I started Breakers, by Edward W. Robertson and I'm not sure about it yet. I'm not crazy about the writing style, especially after just finishing TOATEOTL. But I'll keep going for a while.

I'm with you on the Kindle. The main thing that bothers me about it is not having a physical reference for where I am in the book. It gives you the percentage you've read, but it's not the same as having a bookmark in a spot and seeing how far you've come and how far you have to go. Still, I appreciate all the paper it saves and how portable it is.
Read Breakers last weekend, but like you wasn't sure about the writing style. Did buy the second book, but couldn't bring myself to start it. Would love to have a Page # reference rather than a % as well when using the Kindle. I'm all about having that feeling of accomplishment and when I'm not really 'feeling' a book, knowing how much trial and tribulation I have yet to go!
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:30 PM
 
9,229 posts, read 8,544,975 times
Reputation: 14770
I just finished Peter Ackroyd's "Chatterton," and I really don't know what to say about it. I thought there would be something I would "catch" in the reading that I missed in the listening, and there WAS some of that, but not a lot. It was just a very convoluted story, well-written, but not particularly notable.

I think I would like to read another Ackroyd work before I decide whether I like reading him or not. Any suggestions?

Next up: "Wolf Hall"
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Old 11-16-2013, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Texas
15,891 posts, read 18,317,167 times
Reputation: 62766
I'm reading The Luck of the Weissensteiners by Christoph Fischer. I found this gem on amazon. Actually, amazon found it for me since it knows that one of my interests is Jewish history. It's the first book in a trilogy and I was hooked from page one. Plus, it's available for kindle at $2.99.

It's very well written and the characters are well fleshed out. Our two main characters are readers and meet in a bookstore where he works and she frequents. There is a lot of discussion about books and I know the folks in this thread will most likely enjoy that topic. She's Jewish and he is Catholic. It starts out in the 1930s. They live in Eastern Europe....so, we know where this is going but may be surprised at what happens because this book is not primarily about the Holocaust. It's about faith, love, loyalty and how families deal with adversity. It's a saga. I hope the next two books in the trilogy are as good as this one is.
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